Today, as I was walking with the kids through the parking lot to the car after standing in line for 53 minutes to buy 7 things at the local Mart store here in the breezy burbs of O-Town, I realized a couple things:
1. I REALLY NEED TO STOP SHOPPING AT THIS PLACE BECAUSE IT’S DESTROYING THE LAST FEW TATTERED AND FRAYED NERVES I HAVE LEFT
2. PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO HAVE MORE PARKING LOT ETIQUETTE
3. WHAT THE HECK IS THE POINT OF HAVING THE SECURITY GUY DRIVE AROUND IN HIS LITTLE HYBRID WITH THE YELLOW FLASHING LIGHTS?
Regarding #1, only I can make the decision when to stop torturing myself by going to this retail/grocery equivalent to the seventh ring of Hell, and #3…well, that’s a mystery right up there with Bigfoot (who I do actually believe in, but I’ll save that for another time) and the elusive horned chucacabra of the Florida Everglades (yep, believe in him too). But, when it comes to #2, I definitely have some thoughts. (I also can’t believe I used “but” and “#2” in the same sentence without cracking up) (Also, for all you English majors, I know that I used “but” in my little joke, when in the correct context it should have been “butt” , so you can all go shove your thumbs up your butts and piss off.)
Ok, getting back to the parking lot etiquette stuff, here are some things that really irritate the bejeezus out of me, and I’m guessing if you’re the parent of little ones, these things might make you cringe too:
1. DO NOT ABUSE THE “PARKING FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS” SPOTS
I applaud the companies and stores that have these parking spaces. Anyone that has been pregnant or knows someone who has, will tell you that the further along they get, the tougher it is to huff it into a store or place of business, from half a mile away. I’m not even going to bring up the non-pregnant people, or better yet, the guys that park in these spots…that’s a whole different level of assholery altogether. What I’m talking about are those geniuses that just got done peeing on a stick and found out they were pregnant. I understand that maybe there’s some slim chance that they’re only like 8 days pregnant, but have a medical condition that requires them to use that space. Like not having any legs or something. But the bottom line is, those spaces should be saved for those that need it. If you’re really that happy to be pregnant and want everyone to know, but you’re not showing yet…go out and buy a “Baby On Board” shirt instead of parking in the “Expectant Mothers” spot.
2. DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE “NEW MOMS” PARKING SPOTS
This is kinda like the last one, and nothing pisses me off like watching a young mom struggling to carry a 15 pound baby in a big ass baby seat, with a diaper bag over one shoulder, not to mention if there are any other little ones with her, hiking it in across the lot, while some woman and her 12 year old son park in the “New Moms” spot. This also goes for the 37 year old woman with no kids of her own, that just adopted an 8 year from Tanzania…YES, you are technically a new mom, but NO, this spot is not for you.
3. DO NOT GO SPEEDING THROUGH PARKING LOTS
I’m sure at one time or another, some folks have thought about wanting to be an action hero, and go diving over the hood of a car. Walking through a parking lot with four bags of groceries, while trying to hold on to a screaming child is not one of those times. Think of it this way, speedways are places where cars are made to go very fast, hence the name…speedway. Whereas, parking lots are places where cars are meant to slow down and eventually stop, or park, hence the name…parking lot. Slow it down and have some consideration for the lives of others. Speeding through a parking lot most likely won’t get you to your destination much sooner, but it could have a tragic outcome if you wind up hitting somebody.
4. DO NOT WASTE TIME SITTING IN YOUR CAR BEFORE YOU PULL OUT
This of course doesn’t apply if you’re changing a diaper, or breaking up a fight in the backseat. This is meant for the people who get in their car after shopping, (especially those that have close parking spots and have someone holding up parking lot traffic with their blinker on waiting to pull into the spot), and decide to just hang out for a while without leaving. They’re not waiting for anybody, they’re probably by themselves, and they just sit there…completely oblivious that someone is waiting to take the spot. I have no idea why people do this. Maybe they bought a book at the store and decided that right then and there was the perfect time to start it. Maybe they decide it’s time to do a cross word puzzle, or some sort of meditation. Who knows, just get the heck out of the parking spot!
5. TURN YOUR DAMN RADIO DOWN…IT’S A PARKING LOT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
Never fails…no matter what big box Mart store parking lot I’m walking through, I always hear someone playing their music so loud, you can actually feel it. Now, I don’t have anything against loud music; I love listening to music loud, and I’m sure the people who do this in parking lots are really just trying to be considerate, providing us some smooth jams or whatever, as we’re walking to and from the store, but, and I think I can speak for most people here, IT’S NOT FRICKING NECESSARY! No one wants to hear that crap! Whether it’s rap, country, rock, punk, metal, or disco infused jazz, it’s probably a pretty safe bet that the only person that appreciates it, is the person from whose car it’s coming from. How would these people like it if we saw them in the store and proceeded to loudly sing one of our very favorite songs directly in their ear as they walked approximately the length of a parking lot?
So there you have it, a few thoughts on parking lot etiquette. I know we all think about what we can do in situations like these, and I really don’t know the best answer. I suppose you could tell the person off, but if you live anywhere like we do, in Florida, that could very well be taking your life in your own hands. You could maybe wait for them to go in the store (unless it’s the flapjack that you’re waiting on to leave) and leave them a note on their car:
As a concerned citizen, I just wanted to inform you that you have violated rule # so and so, of parking lot etiquette. You are an asshole.
Have a nice day and please try to be more considerate!
This blog post brought to you by Concerned Citizens For Improving Parking Lot Etiquette (actually it’s not, I just made that up because I’m a fairly creative person, but it’s really not a bad idea, dontcha think?)
So, what pisses you off the most about parking lots? What are some of your suggestions?